Sports betting in Ohio in 2023

The entire betting year in Ohio brought successes and scandals

Last updated: December 26, 2023, 7:00 a.m. ET
Reading time: 4 minutes

Ohio launched sports betting on New Year’s Day 2023, and after a full year, it’s easy to see why so many sports bettors flocked to the Buckeye State.

Before Ohio began accepting bets, 16 sportsbooks acquired operating licenses. Not only was this a larger number than several other betting states, but it also continued to grow and now there are 20 providers to choose from.

It didn’t take long for Ohio Governor Mike DeWine to take advantage of the large pool of operators operating in the state. In February, he proposed doubling the 10% tax rate on sports betting revenue in Ohio. Its success will certainly be watched by other sports betting states with a competitive market.

See also: Sports betting in North Carolina in 2023

Grip and turnover

Ohio burst onto the sports betting scene with an impressive $1.1 billion in revenue in its first month of operation. That represented $209 million in taxable income and $20.9 million in taxes.

Just recently, Ohio’s profit came close to January’s yield. November saw $746.3 million in bets (second highest after January), but revenue only reached $80 million. But despite the high bar set in January, Ohio was among the top five states for sports betting.

Not surprisingly, FanDuel and DraftKings controlled the sports betting market in Ohio, each consistently making nine-figure profits. FanDuel led in the early months, while DraftKings was the leader from July to October.

See also: 10 predictions, bold or otherwise, about sports betting in 2024

Scandals

Ohio’s popularity also caused some headaches for the Ohio Casino Control Commission (OCCC), particularly in April and May. The operator PlayUp was accused of accepting illegal bets and agreed with the state not to apply for a license for four years.

In May, the OCCC withdrew all action on University of Alabama baseball due to suspicious activity at one of its sportsbooks. Soon after, Alabama coach Brad Bohannon was fired.

The University of Cincinnati baseball team also came under the OCCC’s attention after an alleged conversation with parents and the team’s assistant coach and operations manager (both were fired).

And as other sports betting states begin to crack down on fantasy contests (which are similar to sports betting), the OCCC has also been working to ensure these industries comply with its regulations by sending out several cease-and-desist letters.

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